Dorothy May WOO (née CHOY HING) [1900-1972] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Dorothy May WOO (née CHOY HING) [1900-1972]

Dorothy May
Choy Hing
c.1900-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)
Birthplace (town, state): 
Birthplace (country): 
c.1972-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)

The Helena May History Group is looking for information on, and hopefully a photograph of, Mrs Dorothy Woo who was the wife of Dr Arthur Woo Wai Tak.  Dorothy Woo was a Council member of The Helena May for 25 years, from 1947 until her death in 1972.


Siblings of Dorothy May WOO (née CHOY HING) [1900-1972]

Photos that show this person



The Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography has an entry for Arthur Woo and his sister Catherine, written by York Lo. Maybe he'd also be able to tell you more about Dorothy, or put you in touch with the family?

Regards, David

Henry Ching writes:

The wife of Dr Arthur WOO Wai tak is referred to as Dorothy Woo, but as youngsters we knew her as Auntie May. Perhaps her full name was Dorothy May Woo. I believe her maiden surname was Choy, and that she was Chinese Australian. Born in Sydney.

Henry also sent a c.1950 photo taken at a dinner to celebrate his parents' wedding anniversary. May Woo is second from the left:

Mr. & Mrs. Harry Ching's wedding anniversary dinner
Mr. & Mrs. Harry Ching's wedding anniversary dinner, by Admin


Thank you so much, Henry.  The Helena May History Group is very pleased to have this information on Mrs Woo and especially thank you for the photograph which is the only one we've seen.  It's good to know that she was called May by the family.  In the Helena May's old records she is called Mrs A Woo.  'A' standing for her husband's name, Arthur, in the British traditional of a by-gone age.

Henry Ching writes:

I have found, in, a record of the birth in Sydney in 1900 of a “Dorgthy (sic) M. Choy Hing”. I believe this was Dorothy May Choy Hing, who became Mrs Arthur Woo.   Her father was James Choy Hing.

There is additional confirmation in the report of her mother's funeral which lists "Mrs. Arthur W. Woo (daughter)" among the chief mourners. See:

Henry, Thank you for identifying Mrs Woo's maiden name.  The report of her mother's funeral made interesting reading. 

After further research regarding Helena May Council ladies and it seems that your mother, Ruby Ching, may also have been a Council member.  I have found references to Mrs R Ching in the Council Minutes. Mrs Ching seems to have been a Council member of the Helena May from at least 1958 to 1967.  I have jumped to the conclusion that this lady might have been your mother since Mrs Woo was her friend and may have encouraged her to join.  Do you think this could be correct?  
I have also read with interest about your mother's life on Gwulo
During the Helena May's 100th year [2016] the History Group would like to showcase the Chinese ladies who, along with their western counterparts, gave up so much of their time as volunteers to sit on the Council of the Helena May.  

Henry Ching confirms his mother Ruby Ching was a Council member of the Helena May.

I've tagged these two ladies "Helena May council member". If you add any more, please give them the same tag then they'll show up on this list of council members.

Regards, David

And that's Arthur WOO @ extreme right in photo of Mr&Mrs Ching's wedding anniversary dinner party.


In the 1957 report of her father's death, she is described as:

Mrs May Woo (wife of the well-known Dr. Arthur W. Woo, and Vice-President of the Girl Guides Association and member of the committees of Helena May and Women's International Club); 

I want to give the Helena May's many thanks to federalfred for sending so much information on the life of Council lady, Dorothy Woo.   I don't know what we would do without help from the Gwulo community!